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Internet Edition, April 28, 2010, Page 1


Network for a Healthy California has opened an RFP for pitches from ad and PR agencies to support its multi-platform campaign known as Network.

The 425-page RFP released April 20 covers the ongoing campaign to urge 10.1M low-income Californians to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, engage in physical activity and take other measures to curb obesity and chronic diseases.

Runyon Salzman Einhorn is the lead incumbent firm, while Hill & Knowlton, Paine PR and Brown Miller Communications are among firms that have worked on the PR portions of the account.

A single three-year contract with the state’s Dept. of Health is expected to be awarded starting in October and capped at $39.5M, including development of PSAs, PR materials, press kits, spokesperson training and other tasks and materials.

To qualify to bid, firms must have a Golden State office in business for three years with gross billings of $7M annually during that time.

Proposals are due by July 27 and a pre-bid conference is slated for May 27 in Sacramento.

Ian Tovar ([email protected]) is overseeing the review process.

The campaign was previously known as “5 a Day” until 2006.

Funding comes from state and local governments with backing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Download the RFP at


Torod Neptune, an agency, corporate and public sector PR vet, is leaving Waggener Edstrom for a VP/communications slot at Verizon, starting May 1.

He’ll handle communications for the company’s telecom and business product lines reporting to chief communications officer Peter Thonis and based at the Verizon Center in Basking Ridge, N.J.

Neptune was a senior VP and global public affairs practice leader for WaggEd and oversaw its D.C. and Brussels offices.

Prior to joining the firm in 2004, he was director of strategic and crisis communications for the U.S. House of Representatives, a post created to develop Congress’ first crisis program in the wake of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks.

Previous stints included Bank of America (senior VP, corporate comms. and PA), Powell Tate (group director) and Hager Sharp.


The board of Massey Energy, the mining company reeling from a West Virginia explosion that killed 29 workers, has added Public Strategies Inc. to a Massey PR roster that includes Qorvis Communications and Dix & Eaton.

PSI, part of WPP, is counseling Massey’s board as the company and its chief executive faces continued media and regulatory scrutiny.

The company said last week that its board director in charge of governance –Lady Barbara Thomas Judge — has resigned, although media reports said shareholders have been unhappy with her performance for months.

Massey executives have defended the company’s safety record in the wake of reports of multiple violations at its facilities, including the Upper Big Branch mine where the blast took place earlier this month.

PSI, led by Dan Bartlett, former aide to President George W. Bush, has been working with Goldman Sachs amid its image woes.


Omnicom reported April 20 flat Q1 earnings of $163M on a 6.3 percent drop in revenues to $2.9B, a performance cheered by Wall Street as the ad/PR conglom’s earnings per-share numbers beat the consensus estimate by two cents.

OMC’s stock was trading at $43.23 on April 26, a tad below its $44.08 52-week high.

OMC’s PR unit (Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Cone, Brodeur Worldwide) was up 5.9 percent to $276M during the quarter. Organic growth clocked in at 2.4 percent.

Its advertising business spurted 5.6 percent to $1.3B, while CRM operations advanced 8.6 percent to $1.1B.

Overall U.S. revenues grew 3.9 percent to $1.6B while international business soared 9.3 percent to $1.3B.


By Jack O'Dwyer

The April 10 Economist, in a page analyzing how companies handled various crises, repeats the myth of Tylenol — that Johnson & Johnson “without hesitation” recalled Tylenol products after seven murders took place Thursday, Sept. 30, 1982. It calls J&J's action “the gold standard of crisis management.”

J&J, in fact, initially confined the recall to two batches (93,000 bottles in Lot MC2880 and 171,000 bottles in Lot 1910MD) that were circulated in the Chicago area.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, April 28, 2010, Page 2


A lawsuit charging PR guru Mike Sitrick with “self-dealing” and a breach of fiduciary responsibilities as trustee of the former Sitrick Employee Stock Ownership Plan was filed April 15 by Richard Wool, who headed S&C's New York office, and the ESOP in U.S. District Court (Central District of California).

Wool contends the disappearance of almost 90 percent of the ESOP's original market value was "neither coincidence nor result of market risk."

The complaint charges that Sitrick “decided that the ESOP would receive too much from the sale of the company and conceived a plan to misappropriate and transfer to himself, certain of the corporate assets through its income stream.”

It alleges that Sitrick carried out the plan by declaring Sitrick & Co.’s “income stream the result of ‘personal goodwill’ as intangible assets comprising of Sitrick’s personal business relationships, reputation, contacts with public figures, referral networks, and media contacts."

The suit claims that between ’04 and ’08, Sitrick entered into a verbal or written royalty agreement with S&C, under which the firm was granted the “nonexclusive and revocable right to use Sitrick’s personal goodwill for an annual royalty payment to Sitrick to be agreed upon annually.”

The complaint charges that Sitrick concealed the personal goodwill transaction and the royalty payments from employees and ESOP participants. The info was not made public until ’09 in a Securities and Exchange Commission by S&C new corporate parent, Resources Connection Inc, according to the suit. The suit says the document show that S&C spent $3.4M in ’08 and $2.6M during the first-half of ’09 for royalty payments.

The complaint alleges that of the more than $92M in cash, stock and earnouts earmarked for the ’09 acquisition of Sitrick Brinko Group by Resources Connection Inc., $87.4M went to the purchase of Sitrick's personal goodwill and $5M went for the purchase of S&C's assets.

The suit charges the personal goodwill transaction was an “improper misappropriation and diversion of corporate assets and the royalty payments and/royalty obligations constituted the payment of excessive and unreasonable compensation and/or improper dividends to Sitrick.”

Morgan Lewis & Bockius, which represents Sitrick, dismisses the suit, saying it doesn't believe there is any basis to the complaint. John Kober noted that Sitrick had no role in setting the valuation price that terminated the ESOP.


Interpublic CEO Michael Roth saw total '09 compensation tumble from $10.6M to $6.4M, according to the ad/PR conglom’s proxy.

IPG registered $121M in full-year net vs. $295M for the year earlier period. Roth showed $11.1M in total comp in `07.

Executive VP/CFO Frank Mergenthaler earned a package of $2.4M, a decline from the $3.5M hauled in for ’08. Philippe Krakowsky, executive VP/strategy & corporate relations, collected $1.9M, off from $2.6M. Timothy Sompolski, chief human resources officer, earned $1.3M last year vs. $2.1M in ’08.

IPG’s annual meeting is May 27 in New York.


Feld Entertainment, the live event producer for events like the Ringling Bros. Circus and Disney On Ice, has issued an open RFP for its six-figure PR account.

Feld is looking for a firm with a strong presence or affiliate in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., to handle strategic counsel, national media relations, celebrity outreach and other services for the company and its brands.

Hill & Knowlton is the incumbent.

Base PR retainer is expected to be $30K a month plus monthly expenses of up to $7K. A two-year contract is planned.

Agencies that work with animal rights or activist groups will not be considered.

The primary objective of the PR work is to increase attendance at its events and sell more tickets to consumers. Feld's secondary PR objective is to raise awareness of its properties and the company, including the Feld family which runs the operation.

Nicki Hensley (321-208-8101; [email protected]) is handling the search.


Miami is seeking pitches from PR and ad agencies to engage the community and handle other image and marketing work on behalf of areas of the city designated as blighted and planned for redevelopment.

An RFP from the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency is open through May 3 and covers a variety of assignments from media relations, social media and story idea development to work on a quarterly newsletter and annual report and attending focus group sessions.

CRAs, governed by the state, are created to remove slum and blighting conditions with the goal of revitalizing regions.

Download the RFP at


MWW Group celebrated Earth Day via the initial public offering of client Redwood City, Cal.-based Codexis Inc., which raised nearly $80M in its highly anticipated NASDAQ debut.

The IPO was the second attempt to go public by the clean technology company. It pulled an August 2008 offering due to poor market conditions. The stock went public at $13 and closed at $13.26 for the day.

The San Francisco Chronicle, noting a drought of clean-tech IPOs in 2009, said Codexis’ premiere was “closely watched.” Codexis was trading at $14.39 on April 26.

MWW organized an aggressive media relations effort for Codexis that featured its work in biofuels and its overall mission to develop technologies to create cleaner and more efficient air/water treatment and chemical manufacturing processes.


Internet Edition, April 28, 2010, Page 3


More than a dozen journalist groups were cheered by the Supreme Court's 8-1 decision to void a federal animal cruelty law this month over free speech concerns.

Among the groups joining in an amicus brief were the Outdoor Writers Association of American, Society of Professional Journalists, the New York Times, Newspaper Association of America, The Newspaper Guild, Radio-TV News Directors Association and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

The case brought together liberals and conservatives on the bench on a case that centered on videos of dogfights and other animal violence.

Chief Justice John Roberts suggested the scope of the 10-year-old law in question was too broad and tossed out the conviction of a Virginia man who sold videos of dog fights and called himself a journalist and author.

Outdoor writers saw the case as a threat to videos of hunting and fishing, and some groups went so far to argue that the federal law could ban depictions of bullfighting in Ernest Hemmingway’s novels.

“The Supreme Court said that criminalizing such a vast quantity of forms of expression and relying on the legislative history, which indicated that Congress did not intend to criminalize depictions of hunting and fishing, or upon prosecutorial discretion, was impermissible under the First Amendment,” said OWAA attorney William Jay Powell.

Justice Samuel Alito was the lone dissenter as he cited a particularly disturbing series of videos in which animals were crushed to death noting the market would likely increase because of the SCOTUS ruling.


The McClatchy Company posted a first quarter 2010 net loss of $2M as revenues fell 8.2% to $335.6M compared with Q1 of 2009.

The company said advertising revenues fell 11.2% to $253M from Q1 of 2009 to 2010 while circulation ticked up nearly two percent to about $70M. Digital ads were up 2.2% in Q1.

McClatchy said it paid back $746M in bank debt after it raised $875M from issued notes in the first quarter. Outstanding bank debt stands at $131M while total debt at the end of Q1 is pegged at $1.9 billion.

Excluding discontinued operations, McClatchy said profit was $2.2M for Q1, compared with a loss of $37.7M for Q1 of '09.

Gary Pruitt, chairman and chief executive officer, sees an improving ad market, even though he expects ad revenues to be down in Q2.

McClatchy papers include the Miami Herald and Sacramento Bee.


Rolling Stone has re-launched its website and become one of the first major magazines to put most content behind a subscription paywall.

A pay structure set up offers a $29.99 yearly subscription bundled with the magazine or $3.95/month for online users to view editorial content and multimedia from current and past issues dating back into its 43-year archive.

The site was previously run by RealNetworks but RS parent Wenner Media took it over last year.

Free access remains in place for breaking news and some photo content.

Rolling Stone’s magazine circulation is about 1.5M and its website attracts about 1.3M million unique visitors.

Access to its archives provides articles for viewing as they looked in the print magazine.


Will Schenck, who was publisher of Rolling Stone, is moving to Fairchild Fashion Group as VP-chief revenue officer.

The shift marks a return of Schenck to Conde Nast. He once worked at Vanity Fair and Gourmet.

Schenck is to focus on creating line extensions and new revenue streams when he joins Fairchild Fashion on May 10.

He will report to CEO Gina Sanders.


Ted Pincus, founder of the Financial Relations Board and a partner in StevensGouldPincus, tells of his treatment for multiple myeloma, which is cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow, in a three-part series in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The disease is incurable but treatable with average survival four years. One medical facility says it achieves 8-9 years of survival.

Pincus, 76, says he has been “blessed with an incredibly lucky life” and gives high praise to his wife, five children, his sons and daughters-in-law, ten grandchildren and many friends.

He continues to find his business life satisfying and fulfillment in government work. He has no intention of retiring.

“No way am I being short-changed,” he says in the initial column.

Following early treatment which returned his blood to nearly normal, he is undergoing a five-week stem cell transplant sequence.

The next installment will describe his experience with that treatment.

Pincus said he’s happy that the hospital has wi-fi for his laptop.


Aaron Kwittken, founder and CEO of New York-based Kwittken & Co., told CNBC on April 21 that Goldman Sachs has to “open the kimono a little bit” by putting CEO Llyod Blankfein out there and possibly lining up third-party validators like business partner Warren Buffet.

“They need to invite the media in,” he said. “They need to create a bank of goodwill and they have to stop this man-behind-the-curtain, cauldron of secrecy that's really been part of its reputation for so long now.”

See the video at

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, April 28, 2010, Page 4


The landscape of cable television is changing as evidenced by Conan O’Brien’s decision to join Turner Broadcasting System, said Siobhan Schanda, talent producer, on E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” at an Entertainment Publicists Professional media workshop in Hollywood on April 15.

“We are now playing with the big boys, they’re paying attention to us and we're part of that mix,” said Schanda. “Our demographics are young (18-plus) and skew female. We have the audience that goes to films the first week of release. Our audience buys music and books.”

“Chelsea Lately” is a late-night comedy talk show hosted by comedian Chelsea Handler that debuted in July 2007 and produced by Borderline Amazing Productions. It is taped in Los Angeles and has been extended through 2012. The show airs at 11:00 p.m. but is recorded at 3:30 p.m.

Publicists get a wide range of exposure as the show airs at 11:00 p.m. and 2:30 a.m. and in a two to three-week cycle there are additional airings, said Schanda.

“I’m thrilled that Conan is on [TBS] because it really legitimizes what we do for our shows to have a big name like that coming to cable,” said Nando Velasquez, talent executive for cable network G4TV, which started in 2002 focused on video games and targeted an adult male deomographic. “It spotlights all of us.”

G4-TV started out as Tech TV and merged with another tech-focused network and its popular program “Attack of the Show” was an outgrowth. It was originally called “Screen Savers,” a show about how to fix a computer or the latest technology, noted Velasquez.

G4-TV is on more than 200 cable channels. Its core audience is young men who are heavy Internet users eager for information about technology. “We try to stay as hip and as current as possible. Viewers watch us to find out new things,” said Velasquez.

Pitch Tips

“I love getting email pitches and something in writing so I have time to look at it,” said Schanda. “A follow-up phone call is great because we all know how many emails we get. I love to hear people's voices. If we are not interested in your pitch, we will get back to you and let you know as I don’t want to waste your time, or string you along.” Schanda also likes video links.

"Chelsea Lately" works several weeks in advance and has only one interview spot per show. "I encourage people to reach out as soon as possible," Schanda said. "It's never too soon to get something on our radar." Her email is [email protected].

“I would say the same thing that email is the best way to pitch us,” said Velasquez. “I try to get back to everyone, and if I don't, it is because I am getting so many emails or we might be waiting for someone down the line, who is a perfect fit for our demographics.”

Velasquez said he has no problem explaining why he can't use a pitch. “I only have four slots to fill and I like to book a couple of weeks in advance,” added Velasquez, who is at [email protected].

— By George S. McQuade


ConAgra’s PR team is facing a potential media flare up as an Ohio consumer said she opened a can of Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs and found a dead rodent on top.

“We take all consumer inquires seriously, and when a consumer has a bad experience, we work with them to determine the source of the problem and correct it,” Dave Jackson, communications manager for the company, said in a statement. “We also work with them to make up for their experience as best as we are able.”

The story has the makings of a PR nightmare: mother making lunch for daughter when she finds a rat in the can. But some of these cases turn out to be apocryphal, as well. The situation took a social media twist when the nephew of the woman -- Nancy Aker -- posted video of the allegedly tainted Chey Boyardee can on YouTube.

“I’m not looking for money, I’m just looking to let people be aware of this. It's just really gross,” Aker told 9News on Ohio.

ConAgra brands range from Swiss Miss to Slim Jim.


PR Newswire and Business Wire have released iPhone applications this month developed by third parties to deliver news release and multimedia content to users.

Cathy Baron Tamraz, CEO of BW, called mobile distribution a “major element” for the company going forward.

PR Newswire said last week that it is moving to streamline its content for mobile devices with the addition of an iPhone app and others for iPad, Blackberry and Android devices in the works.

PRN said that its new iPhone app offers searchable breaking news and multimedia releases (including video) to users, who can save searches and share content via social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. The app also works on iPod Touch and iPad devices, although PRN said it is working on an “optimized” version for the iPad.

ProfNet subscribers can also access queries via the app, which is free at the Apple Store. The app was developed by Newstex.

Business Wire on April 6 unveiled its own iPhone app developed by Agence Frence-Presse that includes press releases and multimedia. It also works on Touch and iPad devices. BW said its content has been integrated into AFP’s own iPhone app, as well. It has a mobile website,, for users of Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Droid devices.

BRIEFS: Gabriel Snyder, fromer editor-in-chief at, is slated to join Newsweek on May 3 as executive editor of digital operations. ...Walt Disney Studios has hired MT Carney, founder of the New York outpost of Naked Communications, but a Hollywood unknown, as its marketing president. Carney oversees global marketing, publicity, media, promotion and online development for Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation, Touchstone and Walt Disney Animation.

Internet Edition, April 28, 2010, Page 5


Publicis Groupe’s first quarter revenue rose more than eight percent to euro 1.2 billion, including a 10% jump in North America. In U.S. dollars, that’s a nearly 15% rise to $1.6B.

The company said North America experienced an “excellent recovery” in the first quarter with a strong performance in digital, as well as sectors like retail, financial services and healthcare while the auto sector stabilized.

Despite the upbeat performance, Publicis said the economic environment remains fragile and salary and recruitment freezes are only being discontinued gradually. Publicis said its key PR division, MS&L Group, saw the “beginning of a good recovery” and started the year particularly well with new business with wins of What’s On (India) and the World Gold Council (China).

The company said digital now accounts for 27% of its overall revenue.

Europe was the only region where organic growth fell for Publicis as revenue ticked up 3.4%.


Fiona McMillan, a former healthcare director at Cohn & Wolfe/U.K., issued a public apology to settle the legal actions lodged against her and others by C&W and its parent, WPP.

C&W alleged that McMillan broke her employment contract and disregarded fiduciary responsibilities. It charged that McMillan swiped propriety information while still serving as a CWW director to prepare to compete with the firm.

McMillan said in wrapping up the suit: “The terms of the settlement are confidential but I make this settlement to apologize unreservedly to C&W and WPP for my actions, which I accept were ill judged and in breach of my legal obligations. I removed proprietary information belonging to C& but confirm that I did not open or disseminate that information to any third parties."

Ongoing legal actions continue against Rebecca Galbraith, another ex-C&W staffer.

BRIEFS: The Tennessee Biotech Association, an 11-year-old trade group set up to build a biotech industry in the Volunteer State, is turning over its operations to PR firm Hall Strategies in July. The move comes as its longtime president and executive director, Joe Rolwing, retires this summer. Hall Strategies, a six-year-old shop led by former execs from Tennessee firm The Ingram Group, is based in Nashville and has worked with the TBA in the past. The firm will manage the daily operations and provide communications strategy and support, the TBA said in a statement. ...Yavapi College, a community college in Prescott, Ariz., with about 15,000 students, voted this week to dissolve its PR department and outsource the work to a Wisconsin firm that handles PR and marketing for education clients. The move followed an RFP that included three other firms and the school’s own PR department, which was invited to pitch. Interact Communications (Onalaska, Wisc.) has been tapped by the school following the RFP process.


New York

Middleberg Communications, New York/Fantourage, for AOR for launch of celebrity website; Fasolino’s Foods, for PR for its Paul Sorvino line of pasta sauce; Kent International, bicycle and accessories maker, for PR for two product lines - WeeRide and Razor, and Bill and Giuliana Rancic, reality TV star and news anchor, to handle all aspects of their “brand.”

Lou Hammond & Associates, New York/Bermuda Dept. of Tourism, as AOR for PR following a competitive review. LH&A handled the account as AOR from 1999-07.

Rogers & Cowan, New York/Spa Chakra, global network of luxury spas, as AOR for publicity to boost its profile in the spa, travel and luxury lifestyle communities. Senior VP Maggie Gallant heads the account.

Gibbs & Soell PR, New York/ Big Ass Fans, ceiling and vertical fan manufacturer, for the launch of its Isis brand to the upscale residential market.

5W PR, New York/Citibabes, lifestyle brand, for publicity and branding for the company's events, publications, and family membership clubs.

Big Apple Consulting, New York/ReBuilder Medical Technologies, West Virginia-based provider of an electronic pain treatment for neuropathy, for a $300K PR contact.

Porter, LeVay & Rose, New York/Ruby Creek Resources, mining company operating in Tanzania, for investor relations.


Laidlaw Group, Boston/Cumar Inc., eighth generation family stone fabrication business, for PR outreach.

Foley Government & Public Affairs, Washington, D.C./National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation’s May 15 convention in Monroeville, Pa.

E. Boineau & Company, Charleston, S.C./Town of Edisto Beach (S.C.), for marketing and PR counsel to pitch the town as a “desirable destination and location” for residents and visitors. The Edisto Chamber of Commerce is a client of E. Boineau & Company.

Wilbert News Strategies, Atlanta/The Mansion on Peachtree, A Rosewood Hotel & Residence, for external communications, media relations and strategic communications planning for the four-star luxury property.


Tyler Barnett PR, Beverly Hills, Calif./Butler & Associates, private investigation firm, for PR for the agency and its “P.I. Moms” division of females who posses a “maternal instinct.”

JMPR Public Relations, Woodland Hills, Calif./The Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance, automotive event slated for Sept. 11-12, for PR.


Pelham Bell Pottinger, London/Baker Steel Capital Managers, natural resources investment managers, for financial PR surrounding and after the flotation of a new investment company, Baker Steel Resources Trust due to list on the London Stock Exchange's main market at the end of April.

Internet Edition, April 28, 2010, Page 6


Vocus posted a 9 percent rise in first quarter revenue to $22.3M as its net loss from operations grew slightly to $579K from $478K for Q1 of ’09.

The revenue results edged expectations in the $21.8-22M range.

Vocus also announced two acquisitions with its earnings – Data Presse SAS of France and BDL Media Ltd. of China.

President and CEO Rick Rudman said the company saw better-than-expected results for the quarter.

Vocus said it added 396 net new subscription customers during the quarter, more than double the 179 gained for the same period last year. New clients included Nordstrom, FDIC and Honda UK.

Loss from operations was $549 for Q1, compared with income of $296K for Q1 of ’09.

Second quarter revenue is expected to be in the $23.5-23.7M range.

BDL Media is a six-year-old PR services company in the People’s Republic providing software in a vein similar to Vocus' mission through and Its monitoring service is

Rudman said the Chinese market has a rapidly emerging PR industry estimated at more than $1 billion and growing at a 30% percent per year.

He called the deal a " launching pad" for Vocus in the market.

The other deal announced last week was the $10.8M acquisition of Datapresse, a 21-year-old French PR software company with about 2,000 customers and a European media database that gives Vocus broader reach into that continent.

The deal included $9.8M in cash paid at closing and up to $1.0M in cash on an earnout basis.


Synaptic Digital, the recently unveiled merger of The NewsMarket and Medialink, has tapped Medialink veteran Paula Cox as director of client solutions.

Cox was Los Angeles general manager for Medialink for eight years and will oversee business development in the southwestern U.S. for Synaptic.

She worked at Reuters and later moved to Business Wire and Nielsen Tracking Services after starting out in publishing in the cable TV sector.

Contact: [email protected].


Canada’s Cape Breton University wants pitches for media monitoring services to support its PR department.

The 3,500-student Nova Scotia institution wants to track all mentions across all platforms of local, national and global media, including hits for its chancellor, Annette Verschuren, who is president of The Home Depot Canada, and other officials.

An RFP issued April 12 calls for pitches through April 30. Info:



Mischa Dunton, former senior PR manager at LeapFrog Enterprises, to APCO Worldwide, San Francisco, as a VP. She oversaw all PR at LeapFrog, including the launch of its mommy blogger program and 2007 toy industry recalls. Earlier, Dunton was director of marketing comms. at Plaxo.

Jeaneen Psarra, communications director, Oppenheimer Funds, to JCPR, Parsippany, N.J., as executive VP.

Heidi Lorman, a 10-year veteran of Chandler Chicco Agency, to Communications Strategies Inc., Madison, N.J., as a senior counselor. She handled BOTOX Therapeutic for Allergan at CCA. She'll handle Teva Women's Health's birth control poll Seasonique, along with North Carolina pharma company Pozen. Also, Alissa Maupin, a veteran of Hill & Knowlton, PR21 and Rockett, Burkhead & Winslow, joins as media director to lead the firm’s social media efforts.

Kelly Sprecher, VP and communications consultant for Wells Fargo regional banking, to Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., as director of communications and media relations. Bruce Conley, director of news information since 1990, is retiring.

Amy Brown, director of PR, Bear Enthusiast Marketing Group, to BIRNS Inc., a manufacturer of underwater lights and connectors, as director of corporate communications, a new position overseeing external marketing, media relations and internal comms. Based in Oxnard, Calif., she'll also handle the launch of the company's new corporate identity. At BEMG, she handled accounts like Suzuki Marine and Teleflex.

Justin Ordman, marketing and editorial specialist at European bike tour operator Ciclismo Classico, to Louder Than Words, Waltham, Mass., as an A/E. He was previously an AA/C at Schneider Associates.

Melissa Adamson, account manager, Staccato Creative, to Ant Hill Marketing, Portland, Ore., as an A/M. She was previously manager of strategic initiatives at Knowledge Learning Corp.

Janet Craig, VP of investor relations, Nortel Networks, to VIXS Systems, Toronto, as VP of corporate comms.


Wendy Howell to director of PR and information, Albany Technical College, Albany, Ga. Howell, 37, has been with the PR office since 2006 and served as the interim director since mid-February, when Miloy Schwartz stepped down.


Michael Kempner, president and CEO of MWW Group, to the board of directors of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, a global non-profit that helps educators and students in low-income communities. MWW picked up the NTE PR account earlier this year. Kempner is on the boards of Keep a Child Alive and the Center for Food Action, as well.


Internet Edition, April 28, 2010, Page 7


Only after a man in Oroville, Calif., almost died Oct. 5 from a poisoned Tylenol did J&J and the Food & Drug Administration act to remove all Tylenol capsules from stores.

That was on Oct. 7, about seven days later, when J&J announced withdrawal of 31 million capsule bottles at a cost of $100M.

By then there was nothing on any store shelf in the U.S. with Tylenol's name on it because of the hurricane of publicity about the murders.

Tragedy, Not a PR Triumph

Critics have long said Tylenol was a tragedy and not a triumph because 23-year-old Diane Elsworth of Peekskill, N.Y., was poisoned to death in 1986 via Tylenol pills taken from a supposedly "tamper-resistant" bottle. Many others in her neighborhood could have died because several other bottles of strychnine-laced Tylenols were found on store shelves.

CEO James Burke, following the death of Elsworth, told the National Press Club on Feb. 20, 1986 that he was sorry he did not stop making Tylenol capsules after the Chicago murders.

Critics have blasted J&J for rushing Tylenol capsules back onto the market six weeks after the murders. They say the real problem was not the packaging but capsules that could easily be pulled apart and spiked.

Many druggists would not carry any such capsules, noting the ease of spiking them and that tablets dissolve just as quickly in the stomach.

While all attention was focused on stopping a deranged person from buying Tylenols, poisoning them and returning them to store shelves, the real problem was someone tampering with a bottle that had already been opened.

Anyone at home or in a business or institution who wanted to drug another person for whatever reason could easily do so via Tylenol and other capsules.

J&J Fought Families

J&J fought the families of the Chicago victims in court for nearly nine years, only settling in May 1991, the day before a jury trial was to begin.

Media gave little attention to the victims, mostly not mentioning them by name and never (to this reporter's knowledge) showing any pictures of them.
In the business press, almost all attention was on whether the Tylenol brand might be harmed.

When Newsweek in 1986 did a story about the murder of Elsworth, it ran a picture of Burke instead of the victim.

The Chicago victims were Mary Kellerman, 12; Adam Janus, 27; Stanley Janus, 25 and his wife, Theresa, 19; Mary Reiner, 27, who had just given birth to her third child; Mary McFarland, 31, and Paula Prince, 35.

Ironically, Stanley Janus and his wife died after coming back from the hospital and taking Tylenols from the same bottle used by Adam Janus.

J&J entered its Tylenol recall story in the PR Society of America Silver Anvil contest of 1983 in the emergency PR category. However, it lost out to Hygrade Food Products and PR Associates of Detroit.

Hygrade had launched a campaign to help its hot dogs after a food poisoning incident.

Beverly Beltaire of PRA said Silver Anvil co-chair Don Hill called her and said, “You beat Tylenol, your campaign had so many creative angles and was done for so much less.” One of the reasons J&J lost was that it refused to provide any budget figures.

The Society board let PRA keep the Anvil and, for the first time in its history, created a special Anvil for J&J.

Continuing to paint Tylenol as a triumph rather than a tragedy are the 1999 movie “The Insider,” which had actor Russell Crowe saying Burke “just pulled Tylenol off the shelves in every store right across America instantly”; Fortune in May 2007, devoting a page to the myth, calling it the “gold standard for crisis control,”and PR Tactics of the PR Society, devoting a page in March 2008 that said, “J&J’s handling of Tylenol-related deaths…has become an enduring example of crisis management done right.”

J&J Is Mum on Tylenol

J&J for many years has refused any comment on the Tylenol murders.
Raymond Jordan is corporate VP, public affairs and corporate communications of J&J.

He is a member of PR Seminar and also the Arthur W. Page Society, whose chief principle is “Tell the truth. Let the public know what's happening and provide an accurate picture of the company's character, ideals and practices.”

Another principle is “Lay the groundwork for PR miracles with consistent and reasoned attention to information and contacts.”


The new logo of PR Society of America has reduced the font weight for the “S” and “A” while keeping the same weight for the “P” and “R.”

Some veteran members feel the Society has wittingly or unwittingly again slighted the “A,” which stands for America. It has a history of doing this, they noted.

For many years, until a new logo was introduced six years ago, the Society used upper case letters for the “PRS” part of the logo but a lower case “a” for America.

Members complained to the Society that this was an act of disrespect to America which should not be indicated with a small letter. Their complaints were answered when the logo introduced six years ago provided a capital “A.”

Now, say critics, the Society has taken a step backwards by reducing the font weight for the “A.”

This website editorialized on July 2, 2007 that the Society, by its undemocratic behavior, had forfeited its right to use the term “America” in its title.


Internet Edition, April 28, 2010, Page 8




E.W. Scripps Co., whose employees are subjected to grueling three-hour “Ethics Presentations,” has been hit with an ethics complaint by this NL.

Although Scripps has a 20-page ethical code that pledges “fairness,” “courage,” “compassion” and “excellence,” we don’t find any mention of this code on the company’s website,

Anyone seeking it has to hunt for it on Google.

Scripps executives, including CEO Richard Boehne and VP-CC & IR Mike King didn’t respond to phone calls or e-mails. We have asked Boehne, a former business reporter for the Cincinnati Post of Scripps, to assign a reporter to this story.

Scripps in 2008 divided into the profitable Scripps Networks Interactive (entertainment/how-to cable and which employs PRSA chair Gary McCormick) and the unprofitable E.W. Scripps newspaper/local TV group.

The Scripps-Howard Foundation, headed by Mike Phillips, whose assets plummeted from $79M in 2007 to $50M in 2008, mostly from losses in the stock market, does not have a scrap of financial information on its website.

This ignores the advice of the Independent Sector (800 non-profits) that non-profits place on their websites “early in the year” both their IRS 990 Forms and their audits.

Non-profits are notorious for hiding or not clearly reporting their finances and/or reporting them so late as to make the numbers almost useless.

The S-H Foundation is supposedly under the Scripps Code that promises “the highest standards of accuracy.”

Complaint Filed with EthicsPoint

Scripps makes employees attend a three-hour ethics lecture. After one such lecture, which sounds like a Bible Belt revival meeting, one reporter wrote, “Glory, glory, hallelujah…sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me…”I am overflowing with ethicsity.”

The employees must sign an acknowledgement that they have read and understood “The E.W. Scripps Co. Code of Ethics: Keeping the Public Trust.” The pledge notes that the agreement “does not guarantee any right of employment.”

To underscore its dedication to ethics, Scripps employs, a private service that takes complaints.

Although one of our complaints is that McCormick is refusing to answer our questions, we confined our gripe to the fact the E.W. Scripps does not mention its ethics code on its website. We consider that unethical and in contradiction to all the high-flown promises and pledges in the Scripps code.

At PRSA, ethics chair Tom Eppes does not list his phone number or e-mail on the Society website. This does not make it easy for members or others to file ethics complaints or discuss ethical problems. No Ethics Board members are listed on the Society website.

“Where Did This Take Place?” (Everywhere)

The interviewer for put us through a series of questions, many of which did not fit our complaint.

Asked “Where did the ethics violation take place?” we answered “Everywhere” (since the internet is everywhere).

As for “Who did it?” we answered “Everyone in the company” (since all employees are supposed to notice and report transgressions).

Although offered anonymity, we identified ourselves and received a code number so we can look in a couple of weeks to see if there is any answer to our complaint.

We thought McCormick might bring some ethics to PRS but we were wrong. He’s there to publicize HGTV.

He reneged on his promise to appoint African-Americans and journalists to the Strategic Planning Committee.
He came to our office March 19 and said PRS will not discuss with us any of the issues we raise. That was a true but incomplete statement. PRS will not discuss any such issues with anyone. Duck and run is all it knows.

Two senior members, both Fellows (one a former chair of the College of Fellows and the other former president of the L.A. chapter) have put questions to McCormick and the board via this website but have been stonewalled. One of the 17 directors subscribes to the website so ignorance can’t be claimed.

The questions include how can Philadelphia be picked twice for the national conference and New York not once; what right did the board have to move h.q. downtown and cancel the printed members’ directory without consulting members or even the Assembly, and when will PRS work out some settlement with the authors whose intellectual property it stole?

Sacred PR Cow Eats Economist

The Economist, described as noted for its “formula of thorough research and sharp analysis” by The Atlantic last year, did not live up to that billing when it said April 10 that Johnson & Johnson’s handling of the 1982 Tylenol murders is “the gold standard of crisis management.”

Rather, it is the “gold standard of spin.” J&J’s endless bragging about how well it handled the PR replaced the actual tragic story of seven deaths in 1982 and another one in 1986.

Tylenol should never be referred to as anything but a double tragedy. CEO Jim Burke himself admitted J&J should never have re-introduced (in six weeks!) the easily-doctored capsules when tablets worked just as fast and could not be altered.

They should never have been marketed in the first place.

Diane Elsworth, 23, of Peekskill, N.Y., was murdered in 1986 in the exact way that the other people were murdered in 1984—Tylenol capsules pried apart and poisoned.

J&J spin also put emphasis on “tamper-resistant” bottles when that did nothing to address the problem of a bottle that had already been opened and its capsules available for spiking. Many pharmacists refused to stock such capsules by any company.

J&J would not give up the dangerous capsules because none of its competitors would.

Fortune, Movies, Books Ingest Tylenol Lies

The Economist (Tylenols removed “without hesitation”), Fortune (“gold standard for crisis control”), and numerous PR textbooks use such words as “immediate” and “quickly” in referring to the withdrawal of Tylenol capsules. Is seven days immediate? Immediately withdrawn were two small lots that were distributed in the Chicago area.

Worst was the 1999 movie “The Insider” in which actor Russell Crowe said Burke “just pulled Tylenol off the shelves in every store right across America instantly” and used a sweeping wave of his hand to make the point.

PRSA’s Tactics in March 2008 had a full page saying J&J’s handling of the murders “has become an enduring example of crisis management done right.”

Only one book accurately portrays what happened in 1982-- Damage Control, authored in 2007 by former Reagan White House communications staffer Eric Dezenhall.

He notes that the capsules were not pulled off the market until the next week and after another near-murder in Oroville, Calif.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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